Thursday Theology: Mission is Essential! (November 26, 2020)

Co-missioners, Happy Thanksgiving! To those of you receiving and reading these words in other parts of the world, this is the ubiquitous American greeting for today, the fourth Thursday in November, commonly called Thanksgiving Day. Wikipedia ranks it as the second most widely observed of American holidays, the first being Christmas, though it exceeds Christmas in the number …

Thursday Theology: A Timely Sermon on Religion and Politics (November 19, 2020)

Co-missioners, Election Day 2020 is behind us—and the American electorate is as divided as ever. Joe Biden may have won the popular count by almost six million votes, but Donald Trump got four million more than Barack Obama in his best year, the one that marked him momentarily as the highest vote-getter ever. One implication of this: unless …

Thursday Theology: November 12, 2020

Co-missioners, We assume that even in these days of Covid 19 many of you are managing to check in at church on Sunday, if not in person then via the internet. And some of you are among the pastors tasked with making church-of-sorts happen on Sundays. In either case you’re noticing that Christ is dosing us once again …

Thursday Theology: November 5, 2020

Co-missioners, This will reach you two days after the election of 2020. It’s being prepared for publication three days before the election, and the one preparing it has no idea what the outcome will be, reported trends notwithstanding. The shock of Election Night 2016 continues to reverberate. Perhaps we’ll have some comments ready to share on November 12. …

Thursday Theology: October 29, 2020

Co-missioners, Today’s episode is the second of two extended clippings from a keynote address we heard at our Crossings conference in 2018. Aside from welcoming newcomers and introducing the conference theme, the address focused on the distinction between Law and Gospel and on the challenge of putting the Gospel to effective use in the life of the Church. …

Thursday Theology: October 22, 2020

Co-missioners, Lutheran congregations will celebrate the Reformation this Sunday. Or at least we hope they will. Here we think chiefly of ELCA churches and the pastors who lead them. One of the concomitants of ecumenical rapprochement is a tendency to downplay the distinctiveness of one’s own tradition and witness. To the extent that Lutherans succumb to this temptation, …

Thursday Theology: October 15, 2020

Co-missioners, Steve Kuhl has been writing a lot of reflections over the past several months for his Episcopal church in South Milwaukee. Last week he shared another one with us. It speaks to a dilemma that all too many congregations are wrestling with at the moment. We think you’ll appreciate the care Steve takes in addressing it. You …

Thursday Theology: October 8, 2020

Co-missioners, Early last month we brought you a review of N.T. Wright’s reflection on the pandemic, published this past June. The reviewer was Matt Metevelis, a hospice chaplain and parish pastor in Las Vegas. Matt is a voracious reader, as we mentioned. Luther and Augustine make his heart sing. He writes a lot too, often on Facebook. Two …

Thursday Theology: October 1, 2020

Co-Missioners, Bruce Modahl, editor of our quarterly newsletter, sent us a book review to share with you this week. We’re delighted to do so. A reminder that our new offering, Crossings Table Talk, launches next Tuesday at 1 p.m. Central Time (2 p.m. Eastern, noon Mountain, 11 a.m. Pacific). Steve Albertin will lead a discussion of Robert Bertram’s …

Thursday Theology: September 24, 2020

Co-Missioners, Our editor weighs in this week with some thoughts designed to scrape as they’ve scraped on him of late. Before we get to that, allow us to invite you to Crossings Table Talk, a new offering conceived and organized by Steve Albertin and Cathy Lessmann. It’s a monthly chance to talk Gospel over Zoom with a text …